Twenty five years ago this week, there was a landmark decision where the people of Madison stood up for themselves and fought against the creation and maintenance of segregation resulting directly from school boundary changes.
t was an attempt to abandon the central city and the south side in favor of newer, developing peripheral areas. The process would have done serious damage to Madison’s Black population.
But two people wouldn’t let it happen.
Sandy Solberg, on behalf of two neighborhood centers in Central and South Madison, and Richard Harris, who then was an administrator at Madison Area Technical College and a member of the district’s Lincoln-Franklin Task Force, were instrumental in fighting a fight that eventually found that the Madison School Board’s 1979 decision to close schools and redraw attendance boundaries discriminated against minority students and violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964.